“Manhattan is my easel,” said Austin Thomas.
The exhibitions that rippled through our cultural fabric over the past year, at least those occurring in and around New York, have registered the predictable number of highs and lows, though 2014 did manage to plumb one nadir unlikely to be matched for a good long time.
Stacked against the market-driven myth of the solitary genius, the role of community in fostering creative ferment is generally given short shrift. The neatly coordinated categories we encounter in museums, arranged by time period, style or place of origin, barely touch on the diverse constituencies and influences that brought the art into being.
There is something ineffably comforting about To Be a Lady, the exhibition curated by Jason Andrew and subtitled Forty-Five Women in the Arts. The second time I visited the show, on a misty, autumnal afternoon, the light-filled bays at 1285 Avenue of the Americas seemed to lead back to a once intimate, now forgotten place.
The reemergence of Pocket Utopia — not in Bushwick but on the southernmost lip of Manhattan’s Lower East Side — in partnership with the uptown fine prints and drawings dealer C. G. Boerner, might strike some as an offbeat, even aberrant choice. But having gotten to know Austin somewhat after writing about her solo show at Storefront in 2010, it made sense to me that she wouldn’t attempt to repeat herself.
This March 28, Pocket Utopia will return to the New York art scene but this time on Henry Street in the Lower East Side. During its first incarnation the idea of Pocket Utopia, which is the brain child of artist Austin Thomas, opened on Flushing Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn in the Summer 2007 and continued for two years as a place for experimentation and a space that put the artist first.
We’re very excited to be part of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar that starts tomorrow night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and continues until Saturday (5pm to midnight). The large-scale night market in a 40,000 sq ft warehouse on Kent Avenue, between N5th and N6th Streets, will include over a hundred art, food, craft, merchandise and artisanal vendors of all kinds. The venue will also host concerts in a very trippy interior designed by hot Euro-designers JDS/Julien de Smeldt Architects. And Hyperallergic will be there!
We had a great turn out last night for the opening of Presents: Three Months of Mail Art for Hyperallergic HQ. Over a hundred people came through to take a look at the 120+ submissions from around the world.
Artist Julie Torres hosted two months of collaborative drawing nights at Hyperallergic HQ in February and March of this year. The project generated 100 drawings that are currently on display at Norte Maar in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The resulting show, titled So Happy Together: Forty-five Artists and Their One Hundred Collaborative Drawings, opened last night during the first night of the 2011 Bushwick Open Studios.
Last night, In the Use of Others for the Change premiered at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn. Choreographed by Julia K. Gleich, the new ballet featured collaborations with some familiar faces on the Bushwick art scene, including Audra Wolowiec, Austin Thomas, Kevin Regan and Andrew Hurst. I spoke to Gleich today about the show, its challenges, its surprises and the differences between New York and London when it comes to contemporary ballet.
We don’t have definitive proof that Norte Maar’s In the Use of Others for the Change will be the first-ever modern ballet in Bushwick, Brooklyn but we think it just might be.
As an added bonus … tonight (Friday, April 1, 9pm – closing), Bushwick watering hole, Bodega Wine Bar, welcomes fans of Norte Maar for a night of celebration. Eat, drink and be merry and the establishment will donate 10% of all of tonight’s proceeds to the ballet production!
While most people’s Beat Nite started last Friday night, mine began the night before at Norte Maar, where artist Austin Thomas had bitch slapped surprised me with the bombshell that she took the liberty of designing the Hippie Potluck tshirts without me (“I understand, Austin, really, let me just find that voodoo doll I made of you…”) and Norte Maar and Storefront co-founder Jason Andrew decided that he wanted to try and drink me under the table. Thankfully for me, the second helped blunt the pain of the first. Needless to say, things ended up blurry that night. Ok, I think I blacked out, but those are details.